Tuna, brown rice, sumac and green bean salad

Tuna, brown rice, sumac and green bean salad.
Tuna, brown rice, sumac and green bean salad. Photo: Marina Oliphant

When the weather starts to warm up, I always want to eat lighter food, and this combination of nutty brown rice, infused with lemony sumac vinaigrette, is the kind of thing I crave. It's a classic nicoise with a Middle Eastern twist. When you want flavour fast, sumac is the secret.


1 ½ cups of brown rice, boiled in salted water for 25 minutes, drained

50ml of extra-virgin olive oil

20ml of sherry vinegar

½ lemon, juiced

1½ tablespoons of ground sumac

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

185g tin good-quality tuna in oil, drained

2 large handfuls of green beans trimmed and split lengthways, cooked in salted boiling water for 3 minutes, drained and kept warm

10 flat-leaf parsley leaves, very finely sliced

3 sprigs mint, roughly chopped

2 spring onions, finely sliced

3 soft-boiled eggs, shelled and torn (or cut) in half, warm

3 tbsp pine nuts, toasted


Whisk together the oil, vinegar, lemon juice and sumac to create a dressing. Reserve 1-2 tablespoons of dressing and pour the rest over the rice while it's warm. Toss, then season with salt and pepper.

Stir tuna through the rice and transfer to a serving plate.

In another bowl, mix beans with herbs and spring onions and reserved dressing. Scatter the bean mix over the rice, then the egg halves and pine nuts and serve.